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The Octopus CD

24 customer reviews

Price: £19.75
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Music

Image of album by Amplifier

Photos

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Biography

Twenty-four months after the release of their critically acclaimed third album The Octopus, Amplifier are back with a brand new album called Echo Street – their first with the new four-piece line-up – and first for Kscope.

The deal sees the band come full circle. Sales of independently released The Octopus left them amazed and delighted, and encouraged them to headhunt the ... Read more in Amazon's Amplifier Store

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The Octopus + Echo Street (Hard Book Edition) + Insider
Price For All Three: £39.93

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Feb. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: AmpCorp
  • ASIN: B004JTVNVI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,002 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. The Runner
2. Minion's Song
3. Interglacial Spell
4. The Wave
5. The Octopus
6. Planet Of Insects
7. White Horses At Sea // Utopian Daydream
8. Trading Dark Matter On The Stock Exchange
Disc: 2
1. The Sick Rose
2. Interstellar
3. The Emperor
4. Golden Ratio
5. Fall Of The Empire
6. Bloodtest
7. Oscar Night // Embryo
8. Forever And More

Product Description

BBC Review

Manchester trio Amplifier are without a label for this third album, but have forged ahead with a remarkable independent spirit nonetheless. From first glance, it’s difficult to tell whether this double-disc concept album is the result of a band left to their own devices, or whether they’re a band with nothing left to lose and are giving it their last ounce for you, the listener, to contend with. Scratch the surface even slightly, however, and you will be in no doubt that it’s the latter.

After bursting onto the British rock scene in 2004, drowning in huge grunge-y guitars and enormous choruses, they developed their sound for The Insider in 2006, adding more of everything. Now in 2011 they appear to have timed the peak of their genius self-indulgence with a time where prog isn’t a dirty word any more.

If you wonder why they couldn’t fit 16 songs onto one CD (eight on each, like an octopus), it’s important to note that only one song runs at under five minutes. When there’s nobody reining you in, it’s far easier to express everything you wish to and Amplifier’s main protagonist, Sel Balamir, has really gone to town here.

After drip-feeding their fans with The Wave – a slow, menacing stampede of space-rock – there are two true standout tracks on The Octopus. The aptly-named Interstellar is a 10-minute trip into the unfathomable galaxies of Balamir’s mind. Yes, there are hints of Pink Floyd. The title-track is another one swathed in glorious and tender harmonies that trickle out before gathering together to deliver an absolute monster of a chorus. With lyrical themes that venture toward the apocalyptic and other-worldly, it’s an album that commands respects and time to be afforded to it, but the rewards are plentiful. If two discs seem slightly overwhelming at first, then the other perspective is that there is so much quality to digest here that your value for money is not even in question.

In a year when some of the great prog bands are expected to release new material, Amplifier have set standards high from the beginning. The Octopus is an album for others’ material to be compared to – not only in 2011, but for many more years to come.

--Raziq Rauf

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Review

The grand benchmark against which all British Prog albums will be judged --Classic Rock Presents Prog

At present British rock doesn't get much better than this. --Q Magazine

No other record this year will have the audacity to field such lofty ambitions, let alone have the skills to fulfill them --nme

At present British rock doesn't get much better than this. --Q Magazine

No other record this year will have the audacity to field such lofty ambitions, let alone have the skills to fulfill them --nme

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mikeforteee on 21 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD
A long time in gestation this self funded release from Britain's most illustrious of trios has finally landed.
What to say. 2 Discs with more than 2 hours of music that will enthrall and draw the listener in with every further rotation. Highlights for me are the emotive White Horses At Sea and the thundering wig-out of Interstellar. Not that quality slips on any of the other tracks, these are merely my faves at this point in time.
I would like hope this release from these criminally undervalued musicians attains the status it deserves. I urge any discerning rock fan to try some Octopus. I promise you won't be disappointed.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Taylor on 25 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Self-released by this most individual of bands, this album shows a sense of ambition sadly lacking in most modern bands. 16 tracks over 2 discs and 2 hours of music. Quality is staggeringly high, welding huge and imaginative riffs to memorable hooks and genuine lyrical intelligence. A concept album of sorts, the early limited editions from the band's own website included a book which shed some light on proceedings. Resolutely modern yet with some of the sense of space and light/shade shown by classic bands such as Pink Floyd, filtered through riff monsters like Soundgarden, unexpected twists and turns pop up everywhere. There are hints of jazz, sixties pop handclaps, a truly convincing Mr Burns impression at one point along with an excellent collection of memorable tunes. Deserves the sort of audience commanded by Porcupine Tree et al, and I fully expect it to be sitting on top of my best of list come the end of the year. Would suit fans of Tool, PT, Oceansize, most modern prog and anyone who loves the sheer cathartic power of riffs. Simply brilliant.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By The Crimson King on 1 Mar. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Well I've been waiting for a long time for an album to have this impact on me after just a couple of spins.
An astounding piece of work - if this isn't the best new prog album of 2011 then I sure want to hear the one to beat it to the crown.

Freed from record label interference Amplifier have spread their wings and have recorded their defining album.

For fans of the rockier side of prog, space rock and good rock music in general - equal parts melody and hard riffing guitars a marvelous concoction of rhythm and sound.

Dont hesitate a moment longer, indulge yourself, prepare for 8 legged enlightenment.....

Note , this edition is a relatively basic gatefold sleeve which reflects in the bargain price (its perfectly acceptable to these ears mind you), for a more luxurious packaging option then head over to the amplifier website.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stagger Lee on 4 April 2011
Format: Audio CD
As a fan of Tool, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd and Yes, Amplifier's latest was always going to inspire considerable interest. It certainly matches the Floyd's level of ambition whilst on certain tracks (The Wave and Planet of Insects are good examples) they revert to the crunching riffs of metal prog. Most of the time though, it is classic prog whose influence wins out with charmingly overblown lyrics and multiple layering of sounds and effects. The richness and fullness of this album is testament to the restless creative anima of the mancunian wizards behind it.

The first cd remains my favourite, if only for the twin wonders of the Black Sabbath influenced Interglacial Spell and the doom laden title track which remains the most evocative effort that this collection has to offer. Generally, the consistency is higher throughout this cd and the fluency of interchanging ideas washes artfully over every sonic experiment. The second disc proves to be a little more ragged in places and lacking in the expansive wonder of the first, but songs like The Sick Rose with it's Kasabian inflected delivery and Golden Ratio still rank very highly indeed.

The real wonder of both discs is that as the album grows in intensity and ferocity, it does so without sinking under the weight of guitar onanism or thematic incoherence. For me, mortality and the physical versus the ethereal are the twin ideas that inhabit many of this record's dark corners but the beauty of Amplifier's ambition is that the listener is left to make up their own minds about what they mean.

This is Prog at it's most earnest and unashamed with a breadth of scope and levels of bombast that would overwhelm many lesser mortals.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mathop on 30 Mar. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I had heard of amplifier before but wasn't really sure what they were like. I read a couple of reviews for this album the octopus.
The first thing to say is the packaging is lovely. It includes a nice double gate fold cover housing the 2 CDs, an interesting booklet and leaflet explaining an experiment the band are undertaking. It even comes with some stickers. The real plus is a web link to download (for free) an accompanying EP. All this for £6.99 is a real bargain in my eyes.

As for the music itself, well it is generally good but there is a lot to digest, 2CDs with 70mins of music on each one. These are divided into 8 tracks on each CD hence the title octopus. I am only on the second listen so this review is based on first impressions only. The most obvious influence on the band is "dark side of the moon" era pink floyd. There one or two ambient tracks that replicate the sound and atmosphere of that album really well. However, it isn't all floyd worship as this band also like to riff and riff hard. I was trying to figure out influences here as some of the riffs sound familiar but I can't. I think the band make them their own. There are echoes of Oceansize in places, not surprising since the two bands come from the same area and mike from oceansize makes a guest appearance on this album.

Overall I think it is a massive achievement to produce 16 "prog like" tracks without a drop in quality across both CDs. Also a note on the production which initially sounded a little flat on the opening ambient tracks, but actually sounded fantastic when the riffs and drums start kicking in. I'm sure with more listens I will come to cherish this album in the same way as efflorescence by oceansize.
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